Field Guide

Mammals

Showing 1 - 10 of 35 results
Media
Photo of white tailed buck
Species Types
Scientific Name
Odocoileus virginianus
Description
In summer, white-tailed deer are reddish-brown to tan above; in winter, they are grayish. The throat and belly are white. This common Missouri deer is named for the bright white of its flaglike tail.
Media
large, dark bison in snowy field
Species Types
Scientific Name
Bos bison
Description
The largest mammal to occur in Missouri during historic times, the bison lives in wild and semi-wild herds on private ranges and on public lands, where people can see them and imagine the immense herds that used to be.
Media
Image of a feral hog
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sus scrofa
Description
Feral hogs could cost Missouri millions of dollars in agricultural, environmental, and property damage. As they root and wallow, they plow the soil to depths of 2–8 inches — sometimes for many acres! And this is just the beginning of the trouble they can cause to humans, livestock, and the environment.
Media
Photo of a bull elk lifting its head and bugling
Species Types
Elk
Scientific Name
Cervus canadensis (also called C. elaphus)
Description
Very large members of the deer family, elk are brown or tan above with darker underparts, with a thick neck and yellowish-brown rump patch and tail. Elk have been restored in three Ozark counties.
Media
Image of an armadillo
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dasypus novemcinctus
Description
There’s no other animal in Missouri that can be mistaken for an armadillo! Fifty years ago, they were not considered residents, but now they are regularly found in the southern half of the state.
Media
Photograph of a muskrat standing on grass
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ondatra zibethicus
Description
The common muskrat is one of the most abundant commercial furbearers in Missouri. This semiaquatic rodent has benefited from the construction of thousands of farm ponds throughout the state.
Media
Nutria in wetland habitat
Species Types
Scientific Name
Myocastor coypus
Description
Nutria are large aquatic rodents native to South America. They were brought to the U.S. for the fur market. In Missouri, nutria are sometimes trapped in the southeastern part of the state.
Media
Image of woodchuck (groundhog)
Species Types
Scientific Name
Marmota monax
Description
One of the best-known wild mammals in Missouri, the woodchuck, or groundhog, is a rodent in the squirrel family. The name “woodchuck” is possibly derived from an Indian name for this species.
Media
Photo of a beaver half in water
Species Types
Scientific Name
Castor canadensis
Description
The American beaver is a semiaquatic rodent distinguished by its large size, webbed hind feet, and large, horizontally flattened tail covered with leathery scales.
Media
Photo of badger
Species Types
Scientific Name
Taxidea taxus
Description
An excellent digger, the American badger is a powerful predators of rodents in grasslands and other open areas. Note its brawny build, impressive digging claws, and the black and white facial pattern.
See Also

About Mammals in Missouri

More than 70 species of wild mammals live in Missouri: opossums; shrews and moles; bats; rabbits; woodchuck, squirrels, beaver, mice, voles, and other rodents; coyote, foxes, bear, raccoon, weasels, otter, mink, skunks, bobcat, and other carnivores; deer and elk; and more. Most of us recognize mammals easily — they have fur, are warm-blooded, nurse their young, and breathe air.